Tuesday 21 July 2015

Whither Derbyshire Lane? Part 2

A Provocative Partnership Proposal
It was as long ago as 1929 that Sheffield Tramways and Motors extended service 34 from Meersbrook via Norton Lees Avenue and along the top bit of Derbyshire Lane to a terminus at Graves Park. A year later the service was extended cross-city to Petre Street which was an early tram withdrawal.
In 1956 part of the service was extended from Graves Park to serve the growing development at Hemsworth in the Gleadless Valley. But it would be tedious to detail all the minor route number changes over the years ...
... but the 33 route was very popular, taking the people from the grimier parts of the city to the refreshment of Graves Park.
Then it was all change in 1960. Tram services ceased on Chesterfield Road with replacement buses being numbered 33 and 75. Whilst the 75 went all the way to Meadowhead, the 33 climbed Scarsdale road to run via Derbyshire Lane to Hemsworth. Buses ran every 10 minutes, at least.
Apart from a limited service via Graves Park to Norton, the 34 "group" terminated at Norton Lees.

Two years later, half the former tram route (via Queens Road and Shoreham Street group) to Abbey Lane Cemetery was diverted via the very bottom bit of Derbyshire Lane, left into Norton Lees Road ...
... and via Warminster Road to terminate at Graves Park (route 42).
And thus things remained for five years. Under a major reorganisation in 1967, the 42 became a 20 and extended to Hemsworth, largely by halving the frequency on the 33.
Broadly speaking,this structure lasted at least until the confusion of bus wars and privatisation.

20 timetable 1985
33 timetable 1985

A later re-jig of cross-city links saw the 33 become a 20A.
Surprisingly, perhaps, the 20 minute frequency on each of 20 and 20A remains the service on offer today (although there have been hiccups on the way).
Just to round off the tale, the route via Meersbrook has been progressively reduced and now runs every hour as service 19!
The story so far, then, is that Derbyhire Lane (the top bit) has a bus every 20 minutes somewhat reduced from the heady post-tram days of the early 60s.

And, at last, we come to the point of the blog. This map shows he proposals for a revised network by the Sheffield Bus Partnership.
The 20A has been replaced with an 18. The 20 is actually increased from every 20 to every 15, but the new 18 runs only once every hour! Not only is that a shocker for Derbyshire Laners, but 18s no longer run into City; they terminate at the bottom of Scarsdale Road where a change of bus is necessary.
It would appear that the Sheffield partners are taking a provocative step too far with this draconian chop. If a cut is necessary, surely it would be better to run a 20 and a 20A every 30 minutes each rather than leave Derbyshire Lane denuded? But bus planners look at confuser screens and play with numbers; they don't usually ride on buses.

More's the pity!

There will be "trouble at 't' mill" on Derbyshire Lane, for sure - and rightly so.
Well, It's A Bus, Innit?
The booklet advertising bus services to the nearly-new South Downs National Park has this picture of a bus.
It would be interesting to speculate how many years have passed since half-cab buses plied the leafy South Downs lanes. It certainly isn't Southdown livery ...
... but looks a bit Nottingham-like.
But as Northampton correspondent Alan asks, "Would an advertising agency promote 2015 motoring access to the joys of a National Park with a picture of a Morris Minor?"
 Next bus blog : Wednesday 22nd July 


  1. I'd say Ipswich Regent V: http://www.classicbuses.co.uk/adx63b.jpg

  2. The current service 19 is two a hour usually with double deckers, the proposals make it hourly.

    The current ridership when I see it at woodseats is dire.

    Terminating the service 18 at top of woodseats road will cause problems due to parked cars and tight turns even if a mini bus is used.

    I agree the bus in the picture is a Ipswitch Regent V.